Kemosabe Does Wellington

BioStar at Wellington: A Dog’s-Eye View (Part 1)

Aussie shepherd Kemosabe and his human, Tigger, have been visiting many horses and barns in Wellington for the past month at the annual Winter Equestrian Festival. While Tigger has been busy helping the horses with their diets, ‘Sabe has taken to chronicling the experience to share with you all….

Kemosabe: It has been very busy here since we got to Wellington, Florida. The Winter Equestrian Festival is in full swing with the hunter/jumper circuit and the dressage circuit.

Winter Equestrian Festival from a dog's eye view

There are thousands of horses here. Yes, thousands. And with that many horses, you also get plenty of dogs, so visiting the various barns for me is about hanging out with the other canines, getting patted and admired (and maybe fed part of a sandwich) by the humans, staying clear of hind hooves, and keeping an eye on Tigger.

We started off with a barn talk at Kim Jackson’s farm in White Fences as part of Sue Jacoma’s informational series. Sue is a highly accomplished grand prix rider and trainer, but what I like about her is that she has a really happy personality — a lot like an Australian Shepherd.

We’ve already visited Green River Farm (pictured above) and my friend Luna, who’s a BioStar Flex Well K-9 dog, like me, and doesn’t mind when I steal her toys.

One of my favorite barns is Double H, where Team BioStar rider Quentin Judge trains. I’ve watched Quentin compete in the big International ring, over jumps so large they look like Mount Everest to me. I like how fast the horses go — sort of like agility dogs but with hooves and manes. Quentin’s wife Cayce is one of my favorite humans, because she lights up when she sees me, and there’s nothing that makes a dog feel better than to bask in the glow of a human’s admiration.

I’ve also been spending some time watching Team BioStar rider Jim Koford train and compete. Riding Shirley Mcquillan’s horse Rhett, Jim placed second in the Grand Prix Special at the Global Dressage Masters.

Sallie Spenard at the Winter Equestrian Festival

Sallie Spenard

At the barn in Delray, Florida, where Jim trains in the winter, I got to see my buddy Sallie Spenard (pictured right), who is training with Jim. I have learned that when Sallie and Tigger start talking, I can sneak off and go exploring. So I headed off around the barn to the next barn and ran into the most unusual creature I have ever seen: it had funny ears and horns and unkempt hair dangling from its chin. When I tried to play with it, it tried to butt me with its head. I could hear Tigger calling my name, but sheesh, this animal was just too interesting and amusing! Come to find out that it’s yet another one of those creatures or objects called a “Kemosabe, Leave It!”  I really want Tigger to take it home with us to Virginia because I think it could be a great play toy.
During the Masters, I hung out at the Horse of Course mobile tack shop, because if you are at a dressage show, Horse of Course is the place to be. On any day, I am what is commonly known as a “chick magnet”, because women love to come over and pet me. But at the Masters, I also became a “famous rider/trainer magnet”; I drew the attention of Arthur Kottas, former chief rider at the Spanish Riding School, and Patrick Kittel, Sweden’s number one rider and winner of the Grand Prix at the Masters (along with second place in the freestyle). I actually stopped Patrick in his tracks as he was leaving the show grounds with his wife. When I gave him my Kemosabe look, he just had to pet me and tell me how handsome I was. I kept trying to tell Tigger, “GET THE CAMERA, TAKE A PICTURE”, but all she could do was grin. If she had just listened to me…
Shannon Peters at the Winter Equestrian Festival

Shannon Peters

I did get to see Team BioStar rider Shannon Peters (pictured above) for a brief minute at the Masters. That was just after Tigger had picked me up from my first spa/grooming experience and I was wearing my new black leather collar and feeling mighty dapper. I’m a roll-in-the-dirt-go-for-a-swim-in-the-creek kind of a dog, so the spa thing was… well… unusual. They did my nails, blew me dry, and kind of fluffed me. I was afraid I was going to look a little poofy, and that my buddies at the dog park might make fun of me, but come to find out, most of them get dog spa treatments too!

One of BioStar’s new Team Riders is Skyeler Icke Voss, who is an eventer. I got to meet her when she was in Florida, training with Sallie SpenardSkye is pretty cool, so we hit it off instantly. Naturally, I wanted to get a hold of one of her shoes, you know, as a keepsake. So Skye, if you’re still looking for that tennis shoe… I’ve got it.

[Continue to Part 2]

Kemosabe is a three year old Australian shepherd who, when he’s not on the road with Tigger, likes to hang out at BioStar — taste-testing products and herding the FedEx delivery guys.

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